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Matium Monday Vol. 1 - The Start

Background: The North American Plastics Industry

The story of plastic resin in North America is a testament to human ingenuity and the evolving quest for sustainability. In 1907, the invention of Bakelite opened the gateway to a world of synthetic polymers, setting the stage for a plastic revolution. By the mid-20th century, the US saw its plastic production surge, exceeding 2 million tons annually. This unprecedented growth laid the foundation for a diverse and expansive plastics industry that we find ourselves in today.

Yet, as the production of plastics boomed, so did the need for environmental stewardship. The opening of the first recycling mill in Conshohocken, PA, in 1972 marked the first leap towards recycling. Despite the progress, current statistics indicate that only about 9% of plastic waste is recycled in the US, underscoring the challenges still facing the recycling industry.

These challenges are multifaceted, including high contamination rates in recycling streams, which can reach up to 25%, and the fluctuating market values of recycled plastics. However, the advent of advanced technologies offers a new horizon of possibilities.

That is where Matium comes in....

A cutting edge platform providing infrastructure to connect, automate, and analyze material supply chains for recyclers, brokers, and manufacturers.

So what is Matium and how did it come to be? ... I will let our founder explain:

"I came into this industry 5 years ago almost to the day. I sat down with notepads and a couple Plastics News articles and started learning how to broker plastics. I would spend a few hours in the morning with Google Maps in satellite view as I traced railroad tracks searching for plants with rail access and silos. I'd then spend the next 8 hours making 50-75 cold calls to figure out what companies had and what they need. I made a conditionally formatted google sheet that would automatically tell me who I would follow up with each day. When I got someone on the phone, I would hopefully power through my stutter and get some information that I could then bring back to the group of guys at Bach Polymers. Luckily, I found success through the consistent execution of this routine. But, the amount of redundant work I was doing to refactor offers and requests and explain things to people and remind them of accounts and search for pictures of material I had moved and request datasheets and convert IZOD from ASTM to ISO and create my own datasheets and ask for freight rates and compile spreadsheets and clean data to find pricing of certain materials AND AND AND..... became too much. In late 2020, I called my talented engineer and cousin Alex Lambrides with a plea to help me fix how this industry works. The mission was simple, remove waste from the world in all forms - starting with the plastics process. After hearing probably the 200th business idea from me in his life, Alex committed immediately and went on to quit his job and put the company on his back to build a full service platform for brokers, recyclers, and manufacturers to manage their materials, services, and shipping. When people ask me what Matium is, I have a hard time giving them a simple answer. It is something I have been working on and overcomplicating for awhile. Matium is the material medium, built to more efficiently move materials. We support brokers, recyclers, and manufacturers in all materials. Our goal is to elevate the communication and transaction infrastructure this industry operates on so that we can all make products for the world in a more sustainable and profitable manner…"

Bailey Robin - Co-Founder and CEO

Where does Matium stand today?

We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of an oversubscribed seed round, securing an impressive $1.78 million in strategic capital within a mere two weeks. Instead of the standard route of VC funding, we are backed by strategic partners who come from diverse industries outside the material sector.

This remarkable achievement comes on the heels of Matium generating revenue during our launch to a pilot group. Although we like to joke that we are "pre-launch but post revenue", we have already onboarded six different companies, ranging from brokers to recyclers and manufacturers. Their valuable feedback has been instrumental in refining and enhancing our platform to match the needs of all companies operating in these markets.

In recent weeks, we have welcomed Mitch Best to our team as the Director of Business Development, affectionately known as our "Growth Guy." Coming from a background at UBS and Morgan Stanley, Mitch brings a wealth of experience in optimizing and facilitating transactions for small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, we are delighted to have Chris Cornett join us as our Network Manager, further strengthening our front office capabilities.

Our newest addition, Shelley Brennan, serves as the Product Manager. With a distinguished career in SaaS, Shelley was an original member of the Appian team. Her sole focus is to ensure that our product is as user-friendly as possible, meeting the needs and expectations of our valued customers.

Recently, our team returned from the AMI Plastics World Expo in Cleveland, where we had the pleasure of interacting with numerous companies eager to join our waitlist. The overwhelming interest and enthusiasm we encountered only further validate the demand for our platform.

Matium's journey continues, and we invite you to be a part of it. Stay tuned for more exciting updates and opportunities to join us on our mission to reshape the future of the materials industry.

What’s next for Matium?

Matium will be rolling out public profiles to the waitlist throughout the second half of December, and then launching publicly January 2. The Matium Network will serve as a directory of companies that provide materials or services to the supply chain. Suppliers of materials will be able to host their digital line cards on the Matium network where other free and paid users of Matium can search for their desired specifications. This Matium Network will be restricted to just hosting the global database of companies, materials, and services until May where we will launch full network capability at NPE. At this time, all Matium users will be able to connect with other Matium users and handle their transactions fully on platform. We understand that commodity markets like this do not want open marketplaces, and so we can confidently say that open marketplaces ARE NOT ON OUR ROADMAP. We will be providing a LinkedIn-style network where each user of Matium chooses who they do and don't want to connect to, and which offerings and opportunities each of those connections will see. Til then, the platform will be open for business where users can manage their optimize their current business in silo, and offer their services and line cards on the global database where we will simply host the information you want us to host.

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